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Publication Date : 09-08-2013
Prepare for a feast of tantalising delicacies as Ramadan ends
The month of Ramadan ends with the sighting of the moon and with its sighting, begins preparations of a feast. Here are a few tantalising delicacies which are as diverse as the moon sighting across the globe, to add to your Eid spread.
A Schnitzel is a boneless meat, thinned with a hammer, coated with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs, and then fried. It is a popular food in many countries and can be made from any meat.
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup plain flour
1 tbsp milk
550g chicken breast
Vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
Place chicken breast between wax paper or cling film and pound with a mullet or a rolling pin till the chicken pieces are of uniform thickness about 1/4 inch and set aside. Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, lemon rind, parsley and garlic powder on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Place flour on a plate.
Whisk egg and milk together in a shallow bowl. Coat one piece of chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg mixture. Coat in breadcrumb mixture. Place on a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken, flour, egg mixture and breadcrumb mixture.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in batches for 4 to 5 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Serve.
Thai Spring Rolls
This spring roll recipe uses minced chicken but it can be made vegetarian with tofu, or you can even use baby shrimp if you prefer. Brimming with vegetables and lots of flavour, these spring rolls make a great appetiser and are surprisingly easy to make.
Yields approximately a dozen spring rolls.
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb-size piece ginger, grated
2 green onions, sliced finely
1 red chilli, minced
1/2 cup shredded or finely chopped cabbage
4-6 shiitake mushrooms, cut into matchstick pieces
1/2 cup minced chicken
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp oil, plus more for deep-frying
12 spring roll wrappers
2 tbsp regular soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp sugar
Place 2 tbsp oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium to high heat. Add garlic, ginger, onion, and chilli. Stir-fry until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add cabbage, mushrooms, and chicken. As you stir-fry, add the sauce. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, until vegetables have softened.
Remove from heat and add bean sprouts, tossing to mix in. Then do a taste test for salt, adding a little more fish or soy sauce if not flavourful enough.
To assemble rolls, lay spring roll wrappers on a clean working surface.
Place one heaping tbsp of filling on each wrapper (if using large wrappers, you will need more). Spread filling along the width of the spring roll wrapper — you’ll want to do this 2/3 of the way down, closer to you so you have room to roll it. Try not to include too much of the liquid left from the wok/pan (a slotted spoon works well for this).
Sprinkle some of the fresh coriander and basil over the filling. Then fold the left and right sides of wrapper over filling. Lift up the end nearest you and tuck over, rolling upwards. Secure by dipping your fingers in some water and wetting the end, “pasting” it shut.
To fry spring rolls, place some oil (about 1 inch deep) in a wok or deep-sided frying pan over medium-high heat. When oil begins to form snake-like lines across the bottom of the pan, the oil is starting to heat up. To test it, dip one corner of a spring roll into the oil. If it begins to sizzle and cook, the oil is ready.
Using tongs, place spring rolls in oil, allowing them to fry about 1 minute on each side. Spring rolls are done when they turn light to medium golden-brown. Place on paper towels to drain while you finish frying the rest.
Serve spring rolls while still hot with Sweet Chilli Sauce, or your own dipping sauceredients:
Spicy Thai chicken wing
20 chicken wings, arm of the wing intact
1 tsp cracked black pepper
2 tsp ginger, freshly grated
2 cloves of garlic, freshly chopped
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp lime juice
Place wings in a large glass bowl.
In a separate bowl add pepper, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, vegetable oil, lime juice and chilli garlic sauce and stir. Add wings and toss with the marinade. Place the wings in the refrigerator and allow them to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of overnight.
Place wings on a parchment paper lined pan and bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 20 minutes. Wings are done when shiny, golden brown and have a bit of a crisp edge.
Garnish with limes and some cilantro.
Spicy Thai chicken wing
This is a classic Mediterranean dip made with roasted eggplants and garlic and is very easy to make.
1 large eggplant
1/4 cup tahini, plus more as needed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
1 pinch ground cumin
Salt to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup black olives
Spicy Thai chicken wingPreheat an oven to 180 degree C. Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the fire on a stove.
Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin. Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl. Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste. Add the 1/4 cup tahini, the garlic, the 1/4 cup lemon juice and the cumin and mix well.
Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley. Place the olives around the sides.
Serve at room temperature.
Mustard covered rack of lamb
These racks of lamb are coated in a garlic flavoured, mustard marinade then seared on the grill. You can finish them off indirectly to keep the surface moist while the inside gets cooked through.
2 racks of lamb (8 ribs each)
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
Trim racks of all visible fat.
Prepare your vegetables:
Cut up your vegetables and throw into a roasting dish. You want them to cook in the same time as the lamb. Courgettes and egg plants are great, and if you’re using root vegetables, make sure you cut them into pieces.
Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Spread mixture over lamb and set aside. You can also marinate in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Preheat griddle pan. Place lamb on grill over medium high heat and sear for a couple of minutes per side.
Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Put the lamb right on top of the vegetables in your roasting dish. Put into your hot oven and roast.
A rough guide is 25 minutes for every 450g of meat, but it all depends on your oven. A good way to test for doneness is to give the meat a bit of a squeeze with your fingers. If it feels soft, it means it’s rare; if it feels very firm, it’s well done. For a nice rare lamb rack, 25 to 30 minutes is a good guide.
When you’re happy with the doneness of your lamb, remove the tray from the oven. Remove the lamb from the roasting tray and put the vegetables back in the oven. Let the lamb rest on a board for 5 to 8 minutes, then carve. Serve with the roasted vegetables.
Spicy Thai chicken wing
A tagine is historically a tribal dish from North Africa that is named after the special earthenware pot in which it is cooked. Tagines are primarily used to slow-cook savoury stews and vegetable dishes. You can cook tagines in a deep heavy based sauce pan as well.
This is a great Moroccan dish of meatballs cooked in a spicy tomato sauce and is very popular in my cafe.
1 kg ground beef or lamb
1½ tbsp ground cumin
1½ tbsp paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, minced
10 tomatoes peeled and chopped
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
Place beef, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp paprika, and salt and pepper in a bowl, and mix until evenly combined. Form mixture into 12 balls, about 1 oz. each, and place on a plate; chill kefta until ready to use.
Heat butter and oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining cumin and paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, and cook, stirring, until broken down and sauce is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Add a little water if it gets too dry. Add kefta, and cook, covered, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with fresh cilantro or parsley before serving.
Hummus is another popular Mediterranean dip perfect for an appetizer.
Both Hummus and Babaganush can be served with pita bread and tastes good as a dip for other appetizers as well.
4 garlic cloves
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
6 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 tbsp water or liquid from the chickpeas
8 dashes hot sauce
Turn on the food the steel processor and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it’s minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste, for seasoning, and serve chilled or at room temperature.